With an aim to transform the work process of different business organizations, RS Maan launched IT services startup Codleo along with his friends, Mohit Sharma and Rahul Ray in April 2019. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has expertise in executing strategic business ideas by using the latest technologies for enhanced customer experience. In such a short span of time, the Codleo family has grown from a three-member founding team to 65+ enthusiastic members and is presently serving 50+clients across different domains including healthcare, education, manufacturing, immigration, and many among others. It is now an ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 27001: 2013 certified company that works at par with global standards.
With over 17 years of experience in driving strategic innovations and building businesses in the domain of technology, Maan has been introducing the power of CRM- Salesforce to the corporates in India and the North-Eastern part of the USA since 2010. At Codleo, his expertise in strategic innovation, business planning, strategy development, software design, sales & marketing, channel creation, operating model improvement, and strategic partnerships accelerates business growth and expansion.
Prior to working with Codleo, Maan has worked with EXL Services Insurance and IBM India for QuickBooks software. He is an Indraprastha University graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science followed by a business marketing diploma from IIM, Calcutta. RS Maan also provides his strategic thinking support to the non-profit sector by running a dog shelter and school for children of marginalised communities in North Delhi.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
What is Codleo all about?
We are connecting Companies with their Customers, In a nutshell, we are business solution providers for any industry. We are in the vocation of automating business processes, increasing the productivity of companies, streamlining and easing their daily workflows with the help of CRMs & other latest tech tools. Companies come to us with their challenges & issues, and we solve them. We are a catalyst of change. Plus, we are diversifying into creating our own IT products for SMB market to enable better & holistic HR management, Vendor management and project management. We are partnered with best CRM companies of the world Salesforce, HubSpot and Zendesk.
What factors influenced or motivated you to start this venture?
The idea of Codleo germinated in my mind based on my extensive experience & knowledge of the customer services industry. I was motivated to create a company which put its customers at the heart of its operations. The idea took root in a tiny classroom of a family run school where myself, Mohit Sharma and Rahul Ray brainstormed and laid the foundation in April 2019. A company which provides holistic solutions for its customers, rather than ad-hoc problem solving, in a completely new way is how Codleo took shape.
A tiny player in the vast ocean making its presence felt by its actions. The grit and determination of the core team saw the company being built brick by brick and moving to their present location at the end of the year. The Codleo family grew from 3 to 30 and now over to 60 codleons helping in education healthcare and NGO domains where they are enabling their customers to connect with their customers and bridge the gap. The concept behind the formation of the company was to create an entity which functioned with a heart. The theory of heart is important as we believe in listening, understanding, empathising and batting for our clients. So our company was formed with this clear vision to be the best IT solution provider with a heart.
What were the first few steps during and after the launch of Codleo?
Starting a new venture is always difficult yet exciting, same was the case with us. A successful startup is a journey from idea to execution & growth and you should know the path you’ll be walking. Working on a concrete business plan, actively search for scaling capabilities, and Documentation & Registrations. Invest in marketing to get the first client and let the client talk about your services. Keep improving services based on client feedback and always aiming for maturity and expansion with best services.
Have you raised funds so far?
Initial funding has been Personal investment. Currently, we are still reviewing our strategy vis-à-vis angel investors or /and seed funding. We are in talks currently with some people who wish to invest in Codleo.
Tell us about your motivation. What keeps you going?
I am motivated to find innovative & cost-effective solutions for the problems of our clients so that they can connect & engage with their clients better, leading to enhanced ROI and success. Their success means Codleo’s success (higher morale, more referrals and clients, better pay outs and perks) that enable the team to better their lives and are happier at work. This motivates me every day to push myself and my Team to do better on a daily basis.
How has your journey been so far?
The short journey of 2+ years has been a roller coaster of highs and lows. We are growing in terms of revenue, clients and employee strength despite the pandemic of a year and more. It’s been inspiring 2 years marked by successes, hope and inspiration. The zeal to keep doing great work, providing solutions, Customer excellence and launching innovative products as per market demand. Our Solutions help our client succeed and keeps our morale & energy levels high. We are focused on the positives and the learnings the 2 years of our existence have taught us and made us more determined to pursue this journey with vigor.
How big is your team? How did you manage your team and business during COVID-19 outbreak?
The team consists of over 65+ employees. During the pandemic, no employee was laid off. All were WFH and full salaries were disbursed. We even had the provision of a token amount for each employee for covering the expenses resulting from WFH such as electricity and Wi-Fi expenses. The team was managed by daily morning & evening conference calls department wise.
We struggled with the support of a few loyal clients who continued to maintain trust in us. We understand, it was/is not easy for any organization to cope with very rough periods especially for start-ups. However, thanks to our sincere employees who effortlessly managed and balanced their Professional & Personal lives.
What is the USP of your brand? What makes Codleo different from its competition?
Codleo brings power to each business process with heart. Our learning team is our USP who always believe in “Customer first”. Our bright, young, passionate and dedicated employees are what differentiate us from other companies in the market.
What role your brand is playing in bringing organizational transformation to Businesses?
As we all know; different industries have different issues/challenges which need relevant & pointed solutions. For example, in the education sector, the issues are related to the admission cycle or counselling. We as a company find relevant CRM solutions for each firm in different industrial verticals. Our solutions increase employee productivity, streamline & automate processes, and give transparent & holistic visibility to their customers / prospects & their engagement journey. We connect our customers with their customers to put it succinctly. We are an IT consulting company providing solutions especially to the education, health care, and non – profit sectors. We enable our customers to better understand the requirements & issues of their clients & leads. This leads to an enhanced ROI for them, and revenue goes up. We deal in B2B domain and are focusing on MSMEs who have woken up to the need for tech & digital transformation.
How do you see growth and market response in a post Covid world?
We see growth & demand coming from the MSME sector in the cities and towns that comprise tier 2 and 3 within India. These companies have ‘woken up’ to the need for digital makeover to not only survive but even thrive in these rough times, gain an edge over competitors and maintain customer loyalty.
Please share your views on how Indian Government is supporting startups in IT Sector?
The Indian government has always been supportive of startups in IT sector. Their various iniatives such as “made in India”, “startup India”, “Support for International Patent Protection in E&IT (SIP-EIT)” and the “Multiplier Grants Scheme (MGS)” are helpful and encouraging for those who want to ensure India’s top position in the world IT sector. Tax breaks & holidays to help this industry should be considered to aid the industry as well as other schemes to give us a leg-up especially startups and small firms.
Awards and achievements, if any?
- Salesforce Crest Tier partner
- ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 27001: 2013 certified
- NASSCOM member
- Salesforce Talent alliance partner
What are your messages or leadership lessons for budding entrepreneurs?
The artificial notion of leadership is this image of being out in the front, taking all the credit, getting honors, being a superstar, etc. That’s not the case at all as per my understanding and philosophy. I found my greatest achievement when I stay in the background and provide space & inspiration for my team to lead from the front and be the ‘face’ of the brand.
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